It wasn’t a race, by the way. Brasher and Chataway were pace setting for Bannister; leading him, pulling him on to succeed, supporting him. Like great leaders do. Acts of leadership like this one are in fact collaborations in which people take turns to lead. The myth of ‘the leader’ stops us recognizing this obvious truth. Stop viewing leadership through the lens of ‘the leader’. Start thinking ‘acts of leadership’ rather than ‘leader’ and you are better equipped to help build an organization, team or unit full of acts of collaborative leadership.
Archives for May 2007
Employee engagement is about engaging now not some future state we must strive towards
To live for some future goal is shallow. It’s the sides of the mountain that sustain life, not the top. ~ Robert M. Pirsig
Engage now, where you are, with what you are doing.
Picture Credit: Seeing is believing … by http://flickr.com/photos/lapidim/105208106/
Employee Engagement: Monday Morning Percolator #15 (Early release)
by David Zinger
If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will. ~ Mother Teresa
Don’t let your employee engagement messages go to the dogs or lull people to sleep.
How do we provide emotional rescue to ensure that people care about an idea? Do we foster empathy in the way we present our ideas? Can we velcro our idea with an idea that people already care about? Can we show others the benefit of our idea not just for who they are but who they could become?
If we take people only as they are, then we make them worse; if we treat them as if they were what they should be, then we bring them to where they can be brought. ~ Johann Wolfgang Van Goethe
Chapter 5 of Made to Stick outlines the emotional component of stickiness. The emotional goal is to make people care because feelings inspire us to act.
Here are are a few points to consider when crafting messages to foster higher levels of engagement:
- Did I communicate empathy for people who may feel disengaged?
- Do I know what people really care about and can I twine this with employee engagement?
- Do employees see the benefit of engagement for themselves now and in the future?
If we take the last point for example. It appears to me that people who are fully engaged at work are also able to fully engage in retirement while people who are disengaged at work and dream of being engaged in life when they retire have a hard time engaging in retirement. There is an old statement that goes retirement is being tired twice: first tired of working, then tired of not working.
Here is a summary from chapter 5 of Made to Stick:
How can we make people care about our ideas? We get them to take off their Analytical hats. We create empathy for specific individuals. We show how our ideas are associated with things that people already care about. We appeal to their self-interest, but we also appeal to their identities — not only to the people they are right now but also to the people they would like to be.
- Work at leveraging the motion inherent in the emotions of engagement.
- Care enough to really know who you work with, to know what they care about, and to mesh your caring with the encouragement, empowerment, and tools to be fully engaged yourself at work and to foster high levels of employee engagement.
Winner for Unexpectedness is worth $1.75: Dan Whitmarsh was the winner of the grand sum of $1.75 for triggering the unexpected thought of the Three Musketeers and employee engagement. Employee engagement is one for all and all for one. To demonstrate his sense of one for all, Dan asked my to donate his winnings to the Tim Horton’s send a kid to camp campaign.
Picture Credit: Jackson Tries to Contain His Excitement By http://flickr.com/photos/itsgreg/106561656/
Do you see relaxation as the opposite of work and effort? Perhaps you believe relaxation is something you do after work? I believe we perform at our best when we relax into work or performance. Our thinking can prohibit engagement or prolong emlpoyee disengagement.
Here is a short paragraph from J. J. Gibbs, Dancing With Your Books: The Zen Way of Studying:
Relaxed Mind, Alert Mind. Relaxation does not mean that the mind goes to sleep. It means to let go to allow the mind to devote its full power to the task at hand. Emptying the mind or letting go is liberation from disquieting thoughts and feelings so our mind’s light can shine directly and exclusively on the present moment, the task at hand. The remaining mid is relaxed by alert. It is taut and ready; poised to deal with whatever present circumstances demand.
The next time you find yourself struggling to stay engaged with your work, take a deep breath, inspire yourself, and relax into your effort.
Picture Credit: Fillmore Snow (11) by http://flickr.com/photos/thomashawk/47910013/
Can you hear your echo? Reflect on Barrie Shepley’s Personal Best Newsletter story about the echo:
A son and his father were walking in the mountains. Suddenly, his son falls, hurts himself and screams: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” To his surprise, hears the voice repeating, somewhere in the mountain: “AAAhhhhhhhhhhh!!!” Curious, he yells: “Who are you?” He receives the answer: “Who are you?” Angered at the response, he screams: “Coward!” He receives the answer: “Coward!” He looks to his father and asks: “What’s going on?” The father smiles and says: “My son, pay attention.” And then he screams to the mountain: “I admire you!” The voice answers: “I admire you!” Again the man screams: “You are a champion!” The voice answers: “You are a champion!” The boy is surprised, but does not understand. Then the father explains: “People call this echo, but really this is life. It gives you back everything you say or do. Our life is simply a reflection of our actions.
When we engage in our work our work engages us.
- Click here to subscribe to Barrie’s weekly newsletter. Barrie Shepley has been Canada’s National Triathlon Team coach since 1991 and he has coached over 500 people to national championship titles, Pan American Games medals, World Championship medals as well as successful completion of the Hawaii Ironman and the Boston Marathon. You don’t have to be an athlete to benefit from Barrie’s best!
- Monitor your engagement during this week. When you decide to fully engage in work, even when you don’t feel like it, what does your overall engagement feel like an hour later? If you are like most people you will find the echo of your engagement strengthens you as you engage in your work.
Picture Credit: “His goal in life was to be an echo” by http://flickr.com/photos/dietpoison/204585367/